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Lau Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry) | Playful Cookinglink to Lau Er Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry)

Lau Er Khosha Bhaja (Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry)

It might sound interesting for some, probably even bizarre for others, but for most Bengali’s, this is an everyday comfort food. Lau Er Khosha Bhaja literary translates to Bottle Gourd Peel Stir Fry. It is a humble side dish, typically paired with steamed white rice and lentil stew. For the past several years since I left home, I have used bottle guard so many times in several different dishes. But I never used those peels. In the process of learning to cook, I forgot some of these simple dishes that I grew up eating.

Garlic Swiss Chard Fried Rice | Playful Cookinglink to Garlic Swiss Chard Fried Rice

Garlic Swiss Chard Fried Rice

As a kid, red amarathan was my favorite green. In fact, it was a magical green for me. Like most kids, I was not a big fan of greens but this magical green, when stir-fried and mixed with cooked rice, would turn into this gorgeous hue of pink. Pretty amazing! My aunt’s backyard was filled with red amarathan and a visit to her house meant helping aunt pick those leaves and then patiently waiting for lunchtime. It was quite a happy moment for my Mom because both my brother and I were super picky eaters. I find the taste of swiss…

Mango Chili Chicken Lollipop | Playful Cookinglink to Mango Chili Chicken Lollipop

Mango Chili Chicken Lollipop

I don’t recall how and when I fell in love with chicken wings but for as long as I can remember, a plate of sticky chicken wings makes my belly dance a happy tune. That’s one thing I can possibly eat daily, keeping guilt far far away. Back in California, when we noticed this shop called Wingstop, I went bonkers and several nights throughout my pregnancy days, it was our dinner. The madness didn’t stop even after the baby arrived. The variety they offer is just incredible and quite creative. Although chicken wings are available in India, it’s not very common…

Garlic and Fresh Peppercorn Fried Rice | Playful Cookinglink to Garlic And Fresh Peppercorn Fried Rice

Garlic And Fresh Peppercorn Fried Rice

In my world of wish-I-had-more-time, dishes like these come superbly handy. A little chopping, a quick sauté and dinner is prepared. We don’t eat rice that often, but it was a clever idea to cook some on Sunday night so that Monday starts off on a great note. Good leftovers somehow help kick the blues. Knowing that you have more time to play with your baby and less time in the kitchen, it is bliss! Plus I was able to send my husband off to work with a delicious lunch box. It was a good start to a new week.

asian chicken fried rice 3link to Asian Chicken Fried Rice with Brown Rice

Asian Chicken Fried Rice with Brown Rice

There was a period when I couldn’t consider rice in any different shade other than white. Small grain white rice would be prepared on a daily basis, long grain basmati white rice for biryani on special occasions and aromatic short grain white rice for (payesh) Bengali rice pudding. Of course, later I learned about Kerala rice, par boiled rice but no matter how many different kinds were available back then, they were all white. Or at least that's all I knew. These days, markets are brimming with such a special range that one can hardly get bored of eating rice.…

papri chat 5link to Papri Chaat – Indian Street Food treat – Guest Post for Shulie @ Food Wanderings

Papri Chaat – Indian Street Food treat – Guest Post for Shulie @ Food Wanderings

There are emails which makes you smile, emails which makes you go aww and then there are emails which makes you jump from your seat and go OMG..and you keep saying to yourself am I reading it correctly!  Yes, that's exactly how I reacted when Shulie wrote to me that she was planning an Indian Theme and asked if I could do a guest post. It was a special moment for me.. excited, happy and felt SO honored. 

chilli bhajji 5link to Chilly Bhajji / Deep Fried Peppers

Chilly Bhajji / Deep Fried Peppers

This is how I like to categorize spicy food.. 'Spice Spicy', 'Gingery Spicy' and 'Chilly Spicy' :) All I need on my daily diet is a dish with lots of flavor and a hint of spice. However, there are days when I crave for nothing more than a super-spicy delicious homemade meal. Like chilly chicken or tom-yum soup or spicy chicken wings or roasted pepper dipping sauce. These kind of cravings mostly happen during cold winter.. Or when I have cold/fever and the medicines have killed my taste bud.